RingTV.com has learned that former undisputed middleweight titleholder Kelly Pavlik has plans to leave his native Youngstown, Ohio, and join trainer Robert Garcia, with whom he would begin workouts just after the Christmas holidays.
The 29-year-old Pavlik (37-2, 32 KOs) told RingTV.com in an interview late last month that he is ready to take advantage of career changes proposed by manager Cameron Dunkin, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti and Pavlik’s father and co-manager, Mike Pavlik, during an Oct. 21 meeting in New York.
Dunkin, Arum and Moretti invited the Pavliks to New York, where they were in attendance for an Oct. 22, HBO-televised bout between Nonito Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs) and Omar Narvaez (35-1-2, 19 KOs) at Madison Square Garden.
In an interview on the evening of Oct. 21, Arum told RingTV.com that the gathering with the Pavliks went well, and Dunkin outlined the details designed to resurrect the beleagured Kelly Pavlik to the point where he is on par with mangerial stablemates such as Donaire, RING No. 1-rated lightweight and WBA titleholder Brandon Rios (28-0-1, 21 KOs), RING No. 8-ranked pound for pound WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) and unbeaten featherweight prospect Mikey Garcia (27-0, 23 KOs).
Among the alterations suggested to Pavlik was to move with his wife and two young children from his native Youngstown, Ohio, to Oxnard, Calif., where he would be trained by Garcia, the same corner man who guides Donaire, Rios and Mikey Garcia.
The change would happen sometime around or after Dec. 28, allowing Pavlik to spend the holidays with his family in Youngstown so as not to disrupt the lives of his wife and children too suddenly.
The moves were set in motion following Pavlik’s withdrawing from a scheduled August fight against Darryl Cunningham (23-2, 10 KOs) on Showtime, citing his disappointment over the offer he received from Top Rank to face Cunningham and then southpaw IBF super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute (29-0, 26 KOs) in November.
Pavlik said that he was upset with his reported payments of $50,000 for facing Cunningham, and the $1.35 million minimum he was to get from Top Rank for a meeting Bute. Pavlik said that he had heard that Denmark’s ex-titleholder Mikkel Kessler had turned down a larger amount for a matchup with Bute.
The move by Pavlik forced Showtime to cancel the entire card that was be held in Youngstown.
The new direction might have Pavlik in line for possible match ups opposite Bute the winner of a bout featuring RING No. 10-rated pound-for-pound WBA beltholder Andre Ward (24-0, 13 KOs) and WBC counter part Carl Froch (28-1, 20 KOs) on Dec. 17.
Pavlik first became champion when he dethroned comebacking 33-year-old Jermain Taylor (28-4-1, 17 KOs), who was 27-0-1 with 17 knockouts before being stopped in seven rounds and dethroned by Pavlik in Sept. 2007.
Taylor also lost his non-title rematch with Pavlik by unanimous decision in February of 2008, when they each weighed 164 pounds, and was subsequently knocked out in the 12th-round by Froch in April of 2009.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org